The WiX Toolset (WiX for short) is a collection of build tools, runtime tools, and libraries for building installers for Windows. This tutorial aims to introduce you to WiX with modern tools like Visual Studio, FireGiant HeatWave, and GitHub. We're assuming you need to build installers and want to use WiX to do so.
You can follow along this whole tutorial one step at a time. You can also hop in and out on various topics that interest you.
WiX is available as an MSBuild SDK and .NET tool when using a .NET 6.0 or later SDK. It is also available as an MSBuild SDK when using MSBuild in Visual Studio 2019 and later.
In this tutorial, we're using Visual Studio 2022 but you can use Visual Studio 2019 -- or even no Visual Studio at all. But sometimes the words and procedures are assuming the use of current versions of Visual Studio 2022. You can also just follow along and not actually play with the code...but where's the fun in that?
Here's the story of our tutorial: You're a developer working on a team that's creating a desktop client application that needs an installer. Your team follows a good, old-fashioned Scrum development model. Each sprint, we'll update the client application and make matching updates to the installer. It might not surprise you to know that the client application we're building is pretty simple. As in, as simple as we can make it. After all, the focus is on the installer, not the client app.
The client app is built in C# and WinForms. To build it, you'll need the
.NET desktop development workload installed in Visual Studio.